Ryan Zimmerman is scheduled to make a rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac on Tuesday and Wednesday before flying out to Pittsburgh Thursday night to join the Nats before their weekend series against the Pirates. Zimmerman said he expects to play third base with Potomac, having two at-bats on Tuesday and three at-bats the following day.
Zimmerman is currently on the 15-day disabled list after experiencing soreness in his left hamstring. Now over a week into his recovery, the Nats third baseman said he feels great and expects to be activated on schedule May 3.
Before Sunday’s game, Zimmerman took batting practice and ran the bases. He hit several home runs at the plate and looked his normal self while running. Zimmerman said he thinks the pain and discomfort have subsided and he is close to ready.
“It wasn’t anything bad,” he said. “You can usually tell the difference between something bad and something not that bad. It’s definitely a relief, we’re not there yet but we’re well on our way. These things, hamstrings, you never know. They can be small but stay small for a very long time, be small and get big, or go away. So hopefully it stays like this.”
The stint on the DL did not affect Zimmerman’s ability to throw so he continued to play catch throughout the rehab process. He said he took two days off after suffering the injury to rest, but since has been throwing without issue.
While Zimmerman has been on the mend, his teammates have put together a three-game winning streak against the Cincinnati Reds. It followed a four straight losses and Zimmerman is glad to see the turnaround.
“It’s good. We had a tough schedule, I think in this league when you play anyone you have to be ready, but when you play St. Louis and Cincinnati and Atlanta, and Cincinnati again, you make one mistake and those teams take advantage of it,” he said.
“For them to play the way they’ve played the last three games is just what we needed after a sluggish week last week. It’s still very early, but it’s always better to play like this.”
Zimmerman watched from the dugout as pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann allowed just one hit each in back-to-back starts. Both were great performances and Jordan’s may be the best Zimmerman has seen since joining the team in 2005.
“Jordan’s pitched that way since he’s got here. He goes right at people, he trusts his stuff. I thought Gio threw great, going right after and attacking people,” Zimmerman said.
“Those guys get strikeouts, curveballs and things like that are a part of their game. But the more they use their fastball, these other teams have to respect their fastball a little bit more.”